At St Gerard’s Carlingford we think of ourselves as “small but mighty”. In an area of Sydney where many schools have 7-10 streams (that’s school talk for classes per year), we have just 2 or 3 and our class sizes are small. This means our classes are also not “open learning” (open learning is where large groups of students from different year levels are all placed in one space).
Led by a passionate and dedicated teaching team, students at St Gerard’s are able to thrive in classroom and playground environments where they will not get lost in the crowd. We have seen first-hand how families benefit from their child being part of a smaller community but broader village.
Here’s why we believe a small school leads to a quality education:
Every student is seen…
The teachers and staff know our students by name – and we know that is important. Transitioning between years is a seamless process, with students already familiar with their class and teacher – and vice versa. The teachers know and understand playground dynamics and friendships, along with unique challenges a student may be facing. Your child simply will not “slip through the cracks”.
… And heard!
Less students means greater opportunities for children to share their thoughts, ideas and questions. Less assertive students also have the chance to explore and develop their unique perspectives. Students are able to develop confidence to share in a setting they are familiar with, with students they know. Developing a love of learning – we want our students to leave St Gerard’s with as many tools in their kit as possible, to tackle their boldest, biggest dreams.
Smaller size brings greater opportunity. Every Year 6 students takes on individual leadership roles within the school, boosting their confidence and allowing them to develop strong skills as they head towards high school.
Unique learning environments
We don’t have to fit into a ‘one size fits all’ model. At St Gerard’s Carlingford, we believe a love of learning starts at the top. Our school Principal Barbara Yee has worked in both the public and catholic school systems and is a passionate educator with more than 20 years of educational leadership experience. One of the things she is passionate about is the developing the capacity for every child to experience success. Mrs Yee also believes in setting high expectations for students and teachers alike.
Students can shine
Teachers are able to closely understand a student’s strengths and challenges, allowing them to experience enrichment opportunities or supportive individual learning plans. Our teaching support staff help learners who need extra support, and our Gifted Education opportunities challenge those who want to excel. Our dedicated Music and Drama, STEAM (Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering and Maths) and Library teachers offer different learning opportunities. The school also has extra-curricular offerings like representative sport, Chess Club, School Band and onsite instrument lessons from an external provider.
More opportunities for interaction
Accessibility is one of our finest assets at St Gerard’s Carlingford. You have the chance to speak directly with your student’s teacher and to our school Principal, Barbara Yee. Barbara can often be seen on duty at the gates in the morning and afternoon, chatting with students and parents alike, understanding the dynamics of the school from the very core.
When families start school at St Gerard’s they enter a partnership between the school staff and parents. A hallmark of good partnerships is communication. We want parents to talk to us about your child and we want to hear parents’ questions and concerns, no matter how small. We also want to hear about the joyful times and significant happenings in families too! We have lots of different ways of keeping in touch with families!
School becomes a community
Seeing familiar faces at pick up and drop off, knowing the names of children across the whole school – not just your child’s class, being greeted by the teachers and Principal and having people you can count on for reminders and a helping hand. These are normal parts of the St Gerard’s Carlingford village, but very special reasons why we are more than a school – we are a community. Our parents are actively involved in P and F, Class Parent Network, Dad’s Club and much more. Your child is at primary school for seven years – having people around to support you through that process makes it enjoyable and memorable.